PHILADELPHIA - An expired passport had given former Temple running back Matt Brown a second chance at his NFL dream.
The diminutive Brown was poised to sign a contract with the Canadian Football League's Saskatchewan Roughriders last week but the deal was held up due to the paperwork snafu.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers came calling this week and the 5-foot-5 Baltimore native inked a deal to go to Central Florida.
Brown is the fifth Temple Owl to sign with an NFL team this spring. He joins DB Maurice Jones (Chicago Bears), PK/P Brandon McManus (Indianapolis Colts), OL Martin Wallace (Cleveland Browns), and DE John Youboty (Denver Broncos). RB Montel Harris (Hamilton Tiger-Cats) also signed with the CFL.
Brown was named the 2012 BIG EAST Special Teams Player of the Year and a first-team All-BIG EAST honoree, finishing his collegiate career ranked No. 2 at Temple in all-purpose yardage (5,272), No. 3 in rushing touchdowns (22), and No. 4 in 100-yard rushing performances (10).
In 2012, Brown set the season record for punt return average (14.2) and at No. 12/10 Louisville he set the school record for kickoff return yards (227). Brown finished third in rushing with 372 yards and four touchdowns on 60 carries. He led the Owls with 241 yards on 17 punt returns and 790 yards and a touchdown on 31 kickoff returns.
Despite missing two games due to injury, Brown finished as the BIG EAST leader in all-purpose yards, averaging 143.4 yards per game.